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NHTSA — Power Train: Transfer Case (4-Wheel Drive) Problems


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,500 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Saturn Vue drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Saturn Vue Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 152006

Vue 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


When stopping the vehicle and sitting still for a few seconds, there is a loud thumping sound (occurring three or four times) from the rear of the vehicle (sounds similar to a loose fuel tank baffle). The dealer stated they weren't aware of any fix for this problem, though they tried a couple of ideas. While I've found this on several websites online, nobody seems to know the cause. Everyone seems to live with the problem. It's difficult to diagnose as it seems intermittant, but happens on average once per day. Being that this seems to be eminating from the fuel system, I think that Saturn should take this issue more seriously, and more than likely this is something they can correct by replacing the fuel tank, I feel that they just don't want that expense. Also, I would like to take the opportunity to complain about the horn switch, as it is extremely difficult to operate in a panic situation, which is what it is designed to be used in. Lastly, I beleive that NHTSA should investigate the AWD system on these vehicles. I've done my own tests and I have to say I am surprised about how easily it is to loose control of the vehicle in light snow. When the rear comes on, if the engine is revving high, it can spin the vehicle around like a top.

- Grabill, IN, USA

problem #1

Jul 102003

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer states vehicle has almost rolled over on several instances due to the 4-wheel drive function not engaging when road conditions necessitate.

- Montague, CA, USA

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